There are several young investors right now who are making their way to becoming rich by getting into smart investments and one such upcoming investor who’s on the verge of achieving financial freedom at such a young age is Luke Garrett.
Luke grew up in a small town just outside of Liverpool, England, with mixed Middle Eastern and British roots from his mother’s side.
From an early age, he has always been fascinated with the mechanics of how business works, he’s always wondering why people buy things the way they do, or what makes one service better than another – pretty much pushing the boundaries of both service and products.
His mentality actually evolved from his grandfather who was a successful businessman himself. Back then he would always tag along with his grandfather on his day-to-day dealings just watching, listening, and learning.
Having thought long and hard about how he could build, maintain and expand wealth, he looked at those on the Forbes List whom he considered to be innovators, trailblazers, and visionaries for inspiration and he saw a pattern: these innovators took something simple and made it so much better for everyone. They all came from varied backgrounds and are considered leaders in their respective fields. Luke figured out that these trailblazers all had a clear common factor when it comes to their investments and assets: it’s real estate.
Luke currently works at NED Capital, a company that is one of the most respected and service focused banks in England and he’s passionate about helping people get into real estate to achieve financial freedom. MoneyCentral magazine recently caught up with Luke to discuss his journey as an investor and here’s what went down:
What was the process for you to finding what you wanted to do?
I regard myself as being extremely fortunate in that I knew the path I wanted to take from an early age. This gave me focus and precision.
My academic “career” ended at 16, and I vividly remember getting home from the last day of school and whilst my friends were busy planning parties, I was on the internet searching for my first investment property, calling estate agents, making connections, speaking to my parents about financing these projects!
Whilst my passion was driving my motivation, I quickly realized that passion wasn’t enough, you needed capital.
I decided to get a job in a local barbershop. 6 months on, I saw an opportunity in the fast-growing male grooming industry. 18 months later at the age of 19, I opened my own male grooming salon. My focus was, again, on quality of service, the materials I used, and the time – all differentiators in my mind.
This experience gave me the impetus to launch into the property development market.
The reality for me is that finding out what I wanted to do was a process, not an event. A man cannot be pregnant but can learn how to be a great parent!
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the property industry so far?
So far, it must be the moment I completed the purchase of my first property and receiving the keys. People look at these things as a sacrifice, but to my mind, this was part of my investment into my future.
What was ironic is that whilst my friends were traveling, at university, taking vacations, I was working hard and trying to create my future.
It reminds me of some great advice I received: The thorns on a bush are there to protect the beauty of the roses. In other words, be aware of the challenges and plan for the solutions to them as the objective is worth it.
Not all experiences are positive ones, and these are the ones I benchmark myself against – for example, because of my relatively young age in an industry where people often quote the number of decades they have been involved in, I was not taken seriously. I turned this negativity into a positive and which will hopefully encourage other younger people to enter the industry. There is no minimum bar to entry in real estate!
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
I have found that some people are in “transmit” mode, others are in constant “receive” mode. Those that have influenced me have been my first employer later to be my business partner. He was the first person to instill the importance of self-education and success, which was a solid foundation and a great path to follow.
Property is about the presentation of the product, gaining insights into what a buyer or me, as a developer/investor, wants, the goals, and objectives. My grandfather has been instrumental in teaching, then guiding, and now watching from afar and asking me for advice! To me, that is a humbling moment.
What makes your organization different than your competitors?
In four words: Attention to detail and specialization.
At NED Capital, specializing in a niche market is the easiest way to make the competition irrelevant. We are in a highly favourable position to be self-funded and therefore have a reputation to be able to move and close deals, sometimes within hours, but usually within a few short days.
Decision making is key – our structure is designed from the bottom up to empower decisions to be made by individuals, not computers.
By narrowing down your target audience to a specific group, you can be considered an expert in your niche and easily become the best in your field. For me this is luxury.
I try to find out everything possible about the areas I am looking to invest in, their income, the cost of schooling, the average spend on leisure, crime rates, even the ratio of single to married people!
But what is unique at our company is this: investment targets are set not by return, but by spend, in other words, we MUST invest our portfolio budgets each year. That, to me, is unicorn-like!
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the property industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
Lessons never arrive without a “plus one”, nor does success – a team effort is critical.
The property industry is a powerful economic, cultural, and emotional force. I always remember that the decisions I make can affect not only my own future but those of others, the surrounding area, and a generation to come.
My biggest lessons have been to trust the wrong people, resulting in wasted time and money – all equaling lost opportunities. However, I am so grateful for those lessons as without CO2 we can’t have O2!
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
Perhaps I am inverting the question here, but I respect and admire people who have made mistakes equally with those I laude.
There is a humility in being able to learn from someone who has “made it” and then “lost it”. Their journey has created turbulence within themselves.
My most admired person is definitely all my teachers at school who constantly drummed it into me to follow my ambitions – one was always careful never to call them “dreams”, but ambitions that can be realized through hard work and surrounding myself with smart people.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
Achieving what I have achieved without going to university.
I see too many people my age buying into the illusion that if you don’t go, your life will be ruined – that you will end up trapped in some other mundane occupation.
The truth is, even with a university degree, there is no guarantee of progress, you will just begin your ‘career’ four or five years later, tens of thousands of pounds in debt. I wanted to break this mould through hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.
Overall, there is no “greatest” challenge, it is all about life’s stages, motivations, and innovative thinking. This forms my mental attitude.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Always be prepared to walk away from a negotiation, but with dignity and respect. This is distinctly different than walking away with frustration.
You can’t bring emotions into deals.
Trust your numbers. Be open to scrutiny.
Too many people become emotionally attached to deals and this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Always be prepared to walk away!
What takes up too much of your time?
A relentless inability to switch off. The constant strives to better my business and those with who I interact with. I am, and this is a cliché we have all heard, my own worst critic!
What does being a successful real estate entrepreneur entail?
I passionately believe in three main attributes:
● Drive and determination – you will encounter challenges and disappointment almost every day. Remember that you have the ability to bounce back and push forward. Not everyone has that ability.
● Calculated risks – everyone is familiar with the term “no risk no reward” but the risk has to be mitigated with thorough due diligence. This enables you to not maximise profits, it is the maximisation of opportunities that results in profits, not the other way around. People look at the bottom line, where the detail is in the approach and opportunity to that approach.
● Building relationships – the single most absolute constant trait in real estate is building long-lasting relationships for mutual benefit.
This will be the backbone of your organisation, having people contact you first before anyone else is always my objective. Then, and only then, can you be confident they will go the extra mile for you.